“I consider myself a typical driver,” said Rafael Nadal.

On his road to winning the Costa do Sauipe title in February 2005, Rafael Nadal battled Ricardo Mello for two and a half hours. A half-year later, in Montreal‘s second round of the Canadian Masters, the Spaniard would defeat the Brazilian in three games to advance to the third round.

Between those two meetings, a lot had changed, including Nadal‘s emergence as one of the finest players in the world following an outstanding campaign in his debut season. Rafa won two ATP titles on clay in February before making the Miami final and winning the inaugural Masters 1000 in Monte Carlo.

The kid won in Barcelona and Rome in the ensuing weeks before making a flawless debut at Roland Garros and defeating Mariano Puerta and Roger Federer to win his maiden Major championship. Rafa struggled on grass, dropping early matches in Halle and Wimbledon before losing some steam.

However, he swiftly recovered, taking a rest before Montreal and winning championships in Bastad and Stuttgart in July. As the No. 2 player in the world, Nadal won his opening match at the Canadian Masters by defeating his fellow countryman and friend, Carlos Moyá, 6-3, 6-7, 6-3.

The young man defeated Ricardo Mello in the second round with more ease, winning 6-1, 6-2 in 66 minutes after controlling the match from beginning to end. The Spaniard faced no break points, surrendered 11 points in eight service games, and converted 56% of return points to earn four breaks out of seven opportunities and go easily to the round of 16.

Speaking of his performance on hard courts, Nadal noted the advancements from the previous year, mentioning his successful performances and predicting a good showing in Montreal. “I gave a solid performance against Melo in Brazil, but I didn’t have the confidence I do now,” the player said.

Rafa Nadal won 20 slams.

Rafael Nadal is a man who obeys the law both on and off the court. Except on the day in July 2006 when he crashed his automobile into a concrete pole. He made these remarks in an interview with the Spanish publication Tráfico y Seguridad Vial, which focuses on vehicular safety.

“I enjoy driving in the conventional manner to get where I need to go with the car. Very little more. I prefer to concentrate on driving and obeying the law. A tiny accident occurred when I didn’t, more than 15 years ago, when Rafa was a novice driver and collided with a concrete post. Fortunately, there is more cause for alarm than for danger. I believe myself to be a law-abiding, normal driver otherwise.